In the most anticipated royal visit since the glory days of Diana, the couple flew in on a scheduled British Airways flight that arrived at John F. Kennedy International Airport in Queens. They are being whisked to Manhattan, where their first stop is their hotel, the storied Carlyle.
Then, soon afterwards, the pair head to a dinner for fundraisers of their Royal Foundation at the home of advertising boss Sir Martin Sorrell.
Guests of the swanky dinner may “decide to make a charitable donation, should they wish,” a royal source tells PEOPLE, denying reports that tickets for access cost up to $50,000.
Earlier, as anticipation built in New York, British Consul General Danny Lopez told the press early Sunday, “It’s been incredible to witness the level of excitement from people wanting to be part of it, wanting to attend, wanting to help us and support us.”
“The level of excitement in New York has been absolutely phenomenal.”
Sir Peter Westmacott, the British ambassador to the United States, explained, “It’s the latest embodiment of the lasting and very close relationship with the royal family.”
“It’s important to us to ensure they have a good time. We hope this will be a very satisfactory happy fun visit.”
The action-packed trip will see William head to Washington, D.C., where he’ll meet President Barack Obama, who Friday underlined his support for the prince’s campaign against illegal wildlife trade.
Meanwhile, Kate will spend Monday in New York, including supporting kids with mental health needs by visiting a child development center in Harlem with the city’s first lady Chirlane McCray.
Monday evening, the sports-loving couple will check out basketball at the Barclays Center, where the Brooklyn Nets take on the Cleveland Cavaliers. The NBA has signed on as a supporter of William’s United for Wildlife campaign.
The visit ends with a glittery evening gala supporting the college where the two met and fell in love, St. Andrews in Scotland. The benefit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art will have some A-list guests including Tom Hanks, whose daughter attended the institution.
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